Geraghty happy to be in the clear

Graham Geraghty has his family on his mind after coming out of tonight's hearing at Croke Park, which cleared him of foul play and made him eligible to play in Sunday's International Rules second Test.

Graham Geraghty has his family on his mind after coming out of tonight's hearing at Croke Park, which cleared him of foul play and made him eligible to play in Sunday's International Rules second Test.

The 33-year-old was hauled up before an independent tribunal after being cited for alleged rough play against Australia defender Lindsay Gilbee in last weekend's 48-40 first Test win for Ireland.

Having been cleared of any wrongdoing by the tribunal, Geraghty said: "It has (been a rough few days), but I'm just happy enough to be able to get the chance to play again and my two kids can go and see their daddy play at Croke Park.

"Obviously this is the first time I've been up like that and it's a bit nerve-wracking, you know, but it seems to be very fair and everybody puts their case over and that's it and then the committee makes a decision and that's it."

Kerry County Board chairman Sean Walsh, who accompanied Geraghty to the tribunal as his player representative, spoke afterwards of his annoyance with how the citing came about, particularly (Australian) Kevin Sheehan's role in initiating the process.

"We shouldn't be here at all. There were three other bodies to look at this match…the nearest person to the incident was the referee. The control committee didn't see fit to take action. One person (Sheehan) has," Walsh admitted.

"The report was vexatious and malicious. Graham Geraghty was targeted by the Australians.

"We feel Graham has been targeted by the media…He is the not the aggressor. He did not start it.

"He was forced to the ground and pinned to the ground.

"There is no evidence that Graham's knee made contact with the head of the Australian player (Gilbee). There is no intent shown. He is totally innocent of the charge."

Gilbee, who plays Aussie Rules for the Western Bulldogs and who was a member of the 2006 All-Australian team, was not at the hearing but issued a statement under the laws of International Rules.

He said in the statement: "I felt a knee to the head…I had to have four stitches."

Walsh was adamant that "Graham's knee clearly missed the side of his (Gilbee's) head".

With both players set for game-time in Sunday's second Test, and Gilbee already promising retaliation (he said in an interview with the Herald Sun that Geraghty is "going to get his own next match. He probably won't want to go near the ball. Put it this way, we will retaliate. It's open slather this week") sparks are sure to fly during the sold-out encounter.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.